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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2011 June;170(3):163-70


language: English

Can a six-minute shuttle walk test predict maximal oxygen uptake?

Andersson E. A. 1, 2, Nilsson J. 1, 2, 3

1 Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden; 2 Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 3 Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway


AIM: This study evaluates the results of and correlations between the six-minute walk-test (6MWT) and a maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test among physically active young adults.
METHODS: Sixty-three adults (33 females and 30 males) aged 18-38 years participated. 6MWT and a maximal running treadmill test for measurements of VO2max were performed. 6MWT reliability was also evaluated.
RESULTS: Mean distance in the 6MWT for the females was 848 (685-976) m and for the males 866 (704-1077) m. The gender differences were considerably less for the 6MWT (2%) than in the VO2max test, both normalized to body weight (21%) and in absolute form (35%). The mean values, for the female and male subjects in the VO2max were 46.7 and 58.9 mL/kg/min and 2.94 and 4.53 L/min, respectively. The data showed a very low, not significant, correlation (r=-0.02-0.32) between walking distance in the 6MWT and VO2max.
CONCLUSION: The 6MWT-distance for this physically active young adults group, which previously not has been studied, was considerably higher than in earlier reports for various other groups. In contrast to several prior studies, especially involving people with various diseases, the present data, on healthy active adults, showed that distance in the 6MWT cannot predict maximal oxygen uptake. The present results may be related to the low potential of walking as a locomotor form to tax the cardio-respiratory system sufficiently for this group. Since aerobic capacity is correlated with increased survival, these new data and given comparisons with previous reports are especially valuable when evaluating fitness in various sports and health contexts.

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